Writers (Wilde, Shaw) - Monty Python's Flying Circus

100 word review: Eugene Onegin

This novel in verse follows three men. It takes a little while to become accustomed to reading complete verse but once you get used to it, it's no problem. You will need to be able to read and understand poetry to be able to completely follow the plot because if all the rhyming becomes to much then you have no idea what's going on. I would recommend if you like novels in verse, 19th century literature or Russian literature but if you don't like that, then don't read it. If you haven't experienced one before, then give it a try!

Politics Essay: Pressure Groups

Why has the distinction between the interest and cause pressure groups been criticised?

The interest and cause distinction has been subject to increasing criticism. The differences between interest and caue groups are blurred in at least three ways.

The first of these is that some pressure groups have both section and promotional characteristics. For example, some sectional groups such as UK Coalition of People Living with HIV and Aids also carry out promotional activities related to public health and education. In a way, all pressure groups have sectional concerns which are based on the interested of their staff, property and money they own.

Secondly, a single pressure group may include members with both sectional and promotional motivations, for example against a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The protesters included people with sectional concerns such as homes being demolished but also contain people with promotional concerns about the environment.

Lastly, some pressure groups try to mask their sectional motivations by adopting the language and arguments of a promotional group. This happens because moral concerns matter more to the public than self-interest. For instance, the BMA only care for the interests of doctors but will talk in terms of public health, patients welfare and the NHS.


Politics Essay: Liberalism

Explain the liberal view of justice

The liberal theory of justice is based on a belief in equality of various kinds. The liberal belief in individualism implies a commitment to foundational equality, where human beings are born equal with each individual being of equal moral worth. This idea is embodied in the notion of natural rights. Foundational equality implies a belief in formal equality and the idea that individuals should enjoy the same formal status in society.

The most important forms of formal equality are legal and political equality. Legal equality emphasizes equality before the law and insists that all non-legal factors be irrelevant to the process of legal decision making. Political equality is embodied in the idea of ‘one person, one vote’ and underpins the liberal commitment to democracy.

Liberals subscribe to a belief in equality of opportunity, where every individual has the same chance to rise or fall in society. Liberals believe social equality is undesirable because people aren’t born the same but possess different talents and skills and some are prepared to work harder than others. Equality means that individuals should have an equal opportunity to develop their unequal skills and abilities.

Liberals believe it is right to reward merit, ability and willingness to work harder than others. This lead to a belief in meritocracy where inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings. A meritocratic society is socially just because individuals are judged by their talents and willingness to work rather than gender or race. Social equality is unjust because it treats unlike individuals alike.

Classic liberals believe justice requires that unequal individuals are not treated equally. Modern liberals also have taken social justice to imply a belief in some measure of social equality.

Sylvia Plath reads November Graveyard

This is getting exciting...

I got three emails today from Kent, Warwick and East Anglia saying that they have received my application so all I can do now is sit and wait... SO NERVOUS!


"When I Am Dead, My Dearest" by Christina Rossetti


I have finally sent off my UCAS today! Now I just have to sit and wait for the offers (or rejections :/ ) to start rolling in!

Exciting stuff!


Politics Essay: Socialism

Distinguish between fundamentalist socialism and revisionist socialism

One of the major issues that have divided competing traditions and tendencies within socialism is the goals or ends for which socialists should strive. Socialists have held very different conceptions of what a socialist society should look like and so have developed competing definitions of socialism. The principal disagreement is between fundamentalist socialism and revisionist socialism, represented respectively by the communist and the social democratic traditions.

Fundamentalist socialism rejects capitalism and seeks to abolish and replace it with a form of communism. Both revolutionary socialists and evolutionary socialists can seek fundamentalist socialism. Marxists use revolution to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a new system. This system would involve a class-less society in which there is common ownership rather than private property and total social equality to have a substantial equality of outcome. Groups such as The Fabian Society, on the other hand, felt that the development of the democratic state made the call for revolution redundant and would rather that the working class used the ballot box to introduce socialism. Nevertheless, they too sought the goal of communism, albeit by pursuing a democratic road.

Revisionist socialism, by contrast, seeks to reform or tame capitalism rather than abolish it. Unlike with fundamentalist socialism, there can only be evolutionary revisionist socialists, never revolutionary. The most obvious example of revisionist socialism is social democracy. Revisionist socialism seeks social justice to reduce economic and social inequalities rather than common ownership. This is achieved through the welfare state which would act as a redistributive mechanism. In the view of revisionist socialism, capitalism is no longer needed to be abolished, only modified through the establishment of reformed or welfare capitalism.

Famous Speeches: Aragorn at the Black Gate

Lungfuls Of Air

Her sister, Osila, opened the front door armed with two shopping bags and wiped her feet on the faded welcome mat. She watched Osila leave the bags on the table and walk over to her. Osila tilted her head and asked her how she was but she didn’t respond, she had returned to watching the fish tank. Osila sighed, put the shopping away and started cleaning.
Osila wiped the surface around Jacob’s last meal which was growing new life by the kitchen sink. Osila wouldn’t dare move it. Nor would she open the curtains. After dusting the final wedding photo and placing it back onto the mantelpiece, Osila went over to her one last time to tell her that she would be back next Wednesday and left, shutting the door behind her.
At the noise of the door shutting, the goldfish flitted to the other side of the tank. The sound came at the same time every week but goldfish have no notion of time and little memory so the shock of sound panicked it. That was one of the good things about goldfish, she thought. Without memory they could experience every trauma life could throw at them and have no recollection of it moments later. Then again, without time the goldfish wouldn’t know that it would all be over in 15 seconds. Perhaps to the goldfish it never seemed to go away. After all, her presence no longer fazed the goldfish so it had to remember her somehow.
She bought the goldfish with Jacob when they moved in together. They were the only ones in the pet shop and she could understand why. The paint was flaking off of the walls, the natural light was blocked by the hutches outside and a teenager was smoking at the counter. She pulled her coat tighter around her and grabbed Jacobs hand. He kissed her forehead, told her it was fine and squeezed her hand. They walked down the aisles, their free hands pointing out potential furry candidates. At the end of it was a long dirty aquarium that lined the back of the shop. Jacob bent down to look into it and pressed his finger onto the glass. She bent over to see what he was pointing to and smiled. The goldfish was perfect.
Now there were algae on the tank. She leant over the arm of the chair and picked up a cloth from the floor. Dipping her hand inside the water, she rubbed it away. Dropping the cloth back where it was, she sat back upright with her lugs tucked into her chest, her arms wrapped around her thighs and chin resting on her knees. When did it get there? She didn’t know. All she knew was that it wasn’t there and then it was.
She had noticed that the more time she spent with the goldfish, the more this seemed to happen. She tried to remember how much time she had spent with the goldfish but she couldn’t. Osila always said she came on Wednesdays, but when were Wednesdays? The darkness that smothered her and the goldfish meant that day and night and summer and winter and past and present had all rolled into a seamless eternity and with no time to age them, she thought, they would live together forever.
Osila opened the front door armed with two shopping bags and wiped her feet on the faded welcome mat. When Jacob met Osila for the first time, she could remember Jacob going to get them all drinks and Osila leaning over and whispering that she never knew horticulturalists could be so funny. She knew Osila meant white men. Jacob returned with the drinks and told Osila they weren’t unless they’d been smoking their plants. She felt Osila watching them as Jacob then put his arm around her, rubbed his nose against hers and kissed her.
She watched Osila leave the shopping bags on the kitchen table and walk over to her. Osila tilted her head and asked her how she was but she didn’t respond. Jacob had his hands over her eyes and kept telling her not to peek. Giggling and squealing she told him she wasn’t. Jacob asked her if she was ready. He removed his hands and revealed their garden, which he had been working on ever since they moved in. She told him it was beautiful but he had better be ready to keep it this way because she certainly wouldn’t be. Wrapping his arms round her waist and looking into her eyes, Jacob convinced her that he had created it so it wouldn’t need a lot of work. It was his very own Eden, he said, and he was the God. Then he kissed her on the forehead, told her he loved her and left for a drink with friends.
After dusting the final wedding photo and placing it back onto the mantelpiece, Osila went over to her one last time to tell her that she would be back next Wednesday, but she wasn’t listening. The night Jacob had gone for a drink, she was woken up by the phone ringing. Then came the drive to the hospital, the waiting room, the police officers, the morgue, the funeral directors, the phone calls, the crematorium, the wake, the apologies, the courtroom, the journalists and the empty house. She went home alone but Osila had promised to come on Wednesday. Taking a final look out of the garden window, she locked all the windows, closed all the curtains, pulled Jacob’s armchair over to face the fish tank and sat down. The Doctor that Osila brought over said she had developed agoraphobia from depression, but she hadn’t. She just didn’t need the outside company. She had the goldfish right here.
Osila left, shutting the door behind her. At the noise of the door shutting, she raised her head with a start. The goldfish didn’t flit; it hadn’t even moved. She unfurled herself, stood up and placed her hands on either side of the tank, looking into the top of it. The goldfish was floating upside down, dead. When had it died? She didn’t know. All she knew was that it had been alive and then it wasn’t. Her eyes widened, her nostrils flared and her breathing quickened.
They were meant to live together forever. Cold water slopped onto her bare arms and feet as she lifted the heavy tank and lurched it against the wall. The glass shattered, the water splattered and the goldfish’s lifeless body, so small and pathetic, fell among the dust and spiders carpeting the floor.
They were meant to be together forever. She knocked the photos off of the mantelpiece with a sweep of her arm, overturned the wooden kitchen table, picked up one of the matching dining chairs and hurled it with all her weakened might across the room where it hit the thick red curtains, smashing something glass on the other side of them and bringing the curtains crashing to the floor.
Strong white light blinded her and she threw her hands up to shield her face. The glittering rays reflecting off shards of the broken window had formed a warm halo around the window pane. She lowered her hands, her chest heaving with exhausted dusty breaths and her petrified brown eyes transfixed on the scene before her. She began to walk towards it, stepping over smashed images of her and
Jacobs wedding day along the way, her feet ignorant of the glass ripping at her soles.
She reached the window. Lavender bushes wafted their scent under her nose. Thick ivy climbed the garden walls and it’s waxy green leaves had begun seeping in through the broken window. Red poppies dotted among bluebells billowing in the breeze while bright dandelions and armies of daisies adorned cracked paving stones only just visible in the overgrown grass, leading to a large apple tree.
She placed a hand on the knob of the garden door and turned. She stepped down onto the paving stones, the wind whipping her baggy cardigan away from her thin frame so the sun could bless each pore of her skin. She stepped carefully through the tangled weave of flowers, her fingers stroking the petals while the stalks tickled her thighs. She stopped in the middle of the garden.
She could see him now, brushing long blonde curls out of bright blue eyes and holding out his hand,
“Nice to meet you, I’m Jacob”
She took his hand, noting the comforting grip and smiled,
“Interesting name, does it mean anything?”
Turning up her head in submission to the heavens, the sun kissed her forehead and Ejira took a lungful of air.



It feels like only yesterday that this blog started up but it's already been a year and what a year it's been! Here's to another gizzillion years of success!!!!

Glitter Graphics

Happy Birthday Glitter Pictures

Famous Speeches: To Kill a Mockingbird

Are you really BFF?

I met my best friend Julia when I was 8 years old. I had just started at a new school and she had volunteered to take care of me for the first few days. Those few days turned into weeks, months and years and last weekend we celebrated 10 years of friendship. In those ten years, we have made new friends and lost just as many but while these friends have come and gone, Jules and I are closer than ever. What is it that makes some of our friendships break down as we get older and others last a lifetime?
Scientists say that we choose friends that we have the most in common with. We have similar behaviour, attitudes and identities as our friends but as we grow up these things change, particularly when we become teenagers. Hitting puberty is never easy and so our friends become our safety rope as we go through it all together; they look after us, and we look after them. None of us want to lose our friends and in our bid to keep them we become influenced and even pressured by our friends.
The research company Adhealth surveyed over 90,000 teenagers and analysed the influence that their friends had over them. They found that most influence is positive. ‘Friend’s pressure can mobilize teenager’s energy, motivate for success and encourage teens to conform to healthy behaviour’ said Dr Ruth Gene, one of the researchers. Basically, It is our friends that prevent us turning into crazy people that smell like fish and mutter to themselves on buses. Our friends work in a similar way to our parents by making sure that we grow up to be healthy ‘normal’ people, although our friends don’t actually intend to do it!
As we get older we move away from our parents as we try to gain independence and our friends can make us feel independent as well as connected. We often feel like our friends understand us better than our parents do as we can relate to one another and accept and understand the frustrations, challenges and concerns that come with being a teenager. This is why teenagers with friends are also physically and emotionally healthier than those without friends and according to Dr Ruth, “close relationships appear to be much more important to girls than they are for boys.” Our friends are our support system as friends understand each other, can talk about their problems and figure out ways to solve them together.
Dr Ruth also says that ‘friends model behaviour for each other, create opportunities in which teenagers can engage in these behaviours and set norms that young people follow.’ This all sounds like complicated science lingo but it can all really be simplified into one example: high school.
In high school we are surrounded by the Cool, the Bad and the Geeky and we work to make sure that we fit into the category that benefits our social lives the most. There are many of us that accept who we are and don’t fit in with any stereotypes at all but still many of us wish we could be in the cool group, with the most popular girls in school. They seem to get all the boys, go to all the parties and have all the fun! We can’t help thinking this way, and according to the survey, it is completely natural.
The popularity side of high school plays a huge part on the friends that we have. Some teens choose friends to make themselves more popular and this means that they may change their behaviour and opinions to fit into a new crowd. Have you ever been friends with someone who has gotten a new friend and suddenly they completely change? Sometimes teenagers will change their entire personality just to keep their new friends. Most of us don’t change our personalities but we do change part of our identities: the way we dress, the music we listen to, give up values or create new ones, change our opinion, even give up old friends and it all depends on the people that we hang around with. This is why the most common question that teens ask themselves is “what will my friends think?”
Caring so much about what our friends think also makes many teenagers take risks that they normally wouldn’t. Some teens will risk being grounded, losing their parents trust or even facing prison, just to try and fit in or feel like they have a group of friends that they can identify with and who accept them. “Friends do help you, but sometimes they want you to do things you wouldn’t do if you were by yourself” said Rebecca, 14. “Or sometimes you feel pressured to do something because everyone is doing it and you want to be cool too.”
All this reshaping that we do of ourselves to fit in is the cause behind the breakdown of many teenage friendships. When you change yourself for a friend, this ‘new’ you does not last very long and eventually your real personality will come through. This is where the problems start because you suddenly find that the real you and your friend no longer have anything in common. As we get older we become more comfortable with our own identities and come to accept and like the way we are so the people we changed ourselves to be with fade away and the friends that we genuinely get along with stay.
If your friends don’t like you just the way you are, then they aren’t really your friends. Don’t be afraid that no one is going to like you because the chances of that are just about impossible! Often people become popular because they are just being themselves. In high school, just being yourself is one of the hardest things to do but when others see you are real, you earn their respect and friendship. You’re never going to get along with everyone and when you think about it, why would you want to? It’s better to have a few close friends that you can hang around with and be yourself than have hundreds of friends that don’t really know you at all. Grab your real friends and start having fun the way you want to!


The theme for December will be...

...Famous Poets and Poems!

Symone and I are resting our arms for the christmas period, and letting you guys delve into famous poems and mini biographies about our favourite poets. We find people today to be very anti-poems, so hopefully we can destroy that and make people see that not all poems are ridiculously dull, confusing and long! (i shan't deny that many boring ones exist, but the good outnumber the bad!)

"General Review Of The Sex Situation" by Dorothy Parker

Ronnie Barker - Father of the Bride

Tam Lyn (retold)